Curious - opinion?
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Old 08-05-2005   #1
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I was talking with my husband the other day. People keep talking about how film is dead. They typically mean 35mm but some even think that medium and large format will be going with it. I was telling my husband that I think what we may see is 35mm go away mostly, but that I bet medium and large format will eventually become more popular as digital gets more and more common.

The reason I'm guessing that may happen is that when people realize they essentially need to upgrade their digital camera on a regular basis since for one, they aren't intended to last forever like many of the old film cameras are. Heck, even my 2000 rebel is doing just fine (well, as fine as it ever has with the kit lens) even though it sat in the really really hot car one day on accident and part of it cracked! I've used the sucker in the rain, crack and all and no problems.

So, I think that people will end up looking at what they pay for their digital cameras every few years and realizing that if they saved up and got one medium format camera or large format camera they wouldn't likely have to upgrade till their kids had used the camera and passed it on to their grandkids, if then. My father-in-law for instance has a camera that was the same kind as the photographers used in the Veitnam war (35mm) and has never even thought about upgrading as there was no reason. I only had to get the 2000 rebel because my old Pentax I had gotten, used, when I was little needed a repair that essentially would have cost the same as getting a new camera would. Really, I wish I had just gone ahead and done it but I was poorer than poor at the time and so I just did without a camera for a few years.

Anyhoo...I think MF and LF will get people who are tired of upgrading cameras that aren't meant to last and keep changing anyway. Whatcha think?

Sara

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Old 08-05-2005   #2
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The market desperately needs a manufacturer to step forward and offer a body that may be "upgraded" with a new sensor as desired.
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Old 08-05-2005   #3
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Absolutely...I think that would go a long way. If I knew that I could buy a digital camera and keep it till I was too old and frail to hold it anymore and had to go for some little lightweight P&S thing, I'd be that much happier (well, right now it is hard to get any happier at the thought of getting my digital...I am SO done with my film at the moment) with it. Problem is, it would cut down on the cost for the consumer to do that and I don't know that any of the companies out there want to do it. Maybe once the shift to MF & LF happens (if it does) they'll start to do that, but I don't know.

Sara
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Old 08-05-2005   #4
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It would seem that most if not all MF manufacturers are or are planning to go digital.* It may be that the last hold out will be LF.

I posted not to long ago a question of whether or not I should sell me MF.* So far I have not sold it.* Last weekend I had a chance to take it out and run a fews rolls through it.* It felt good.* Something about film has always made me pause and really think before clicking the shutter.* It the opposite for me with digital.* As hard as I try, I tend to just click away at times.
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Old 08-06-2005   #5
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although note folks, that the MF guys, to keep costs down(joke) are building integrated (i.e. non upgradeable) backs on their cameras.

Hassy and Mamiya

Scary....

I like my digital back. My H1 should outlast me.. hehe, but the backs won't......

I am a sucker...

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Old 08-06-2005   #6
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No I think MF and LF film are going away too. ( note, I don't mean that they are going to disappear, just professionally somewhat obsolete) \

My reasoning, simple really.

I shoot at a Commercial photography studio with 3-4 shooters (somtimes freelancers), 2 in house editors/ color separators. 10 years ago we shot chromes with Hassies almost all of the time. We upgraded to digital early and it took sometime for our clients to make the change. Today it's almost exclusively digital, havn't shot a roll of film in over a year (and that was a roll if I recall).

Heres why.

-Cheaper for us and cheaper for them (clients) before you argue quality, we now carry a tabloid size print of medium format film and LF digital to all meetings and let clients choose (that's right, no film in over a year)

-We now own a Canon 1ds Mark II and after extensive testing the we discovered the canon produces better images then the hassies... They now sit on a shelf. So essentially the canon has taken over the MF roll (models shooting as well of course) and we shoot apparel and Hard Goods with Digital LF.
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Old 09-23-2005   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellette
I was talking with my husband the other day. People keep talking about how film is dead. They typically mean 35mm but some even think that medium and large format will be going with it. I was telling my husband that I think what we may see is 35mm go away mostly, but that I bet medium and large format will eventually become more popular as digital gets more and more common.

The reason I'm guessing that may happen is that when people realize they essentially need to upgrade their digital camera on a regular basis since for one, they aren't intended to last forever like many of the old film cameras are. [snip]

So, I think that people will end up looking at what they pay for their digital cameras every few years and realizing that if they saved up and got one medium format camera or large format camera they wouldn't likely have to upgrade till their kids had used the camera and passed it on to their grandkids, if then. [snip]

Anyhoo...I think MF and LF will get people who are tired of upgrading cameras that aren't meant to last and keep changing anyway. Whatcha think?
I think that medium and especially large format will stick around for a while at least, but not for the reason you have given. After all, 35 mm hasn't killed off these larger formats yet and the advantages of digital are in many ways similar to 35 mm. Even more so to the point that I think 35 mm is effectively dying. I expect that it will be a long time before it will be possible to process an imager that would have the amount of detail or general image quality in a large format film image at anywhere near a reasonable price. Medium format is iffier but I don't expect 120 film to become extinct for several years at least.

For a 35 mm replacement, we are already pretty much there. Even if the camera body has to be discarded for a new model every few years, the incremental cost of operation for digital is so much less than for 35 mm that the savings in film and processing costs alone will have paid for the new body, at least for heavy users. As digital technology matures, there will be less need to trade in the body as frequently and the cost savings will become even greater and more compelling than they already are.
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Old 09-23-2005   #8
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>> Even if the camera body has to be discarded for a new model every few years, the incremental cost of operation for digital is so much less than for 35 mm that the savings in film and processing costs alone will have paid for the new body, at least for heavy users. As digital technology matures, there will be less need to trade in the body as frequently and the cost savings will become even greater and more compelling than they already are.<<

We're already there! I calculated that at the prices I was paying for 120 film, 120 processing and 4x5 preview printing at pro lab rates, it would take only 31 weddings, with 300 preview shots per wedding, to fully pay for a $8000 camera (1Ds MkII)! Bring that down to a 20D street price, it doesn't take too many rolls of film to effectively pay for the dSLR for an amateur. So the rapid pace of obsolesence is ameliorated by that -- although it still bothers me that I can own and use 30 year old film equipment and get just as good photos as a new film camera, but the digicam which my wife bought me 4 years ago for Xmas will be looked down upon by kids today as 'only 4 Mpixels?!'.
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Old 09-23-2005   #9
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I love mf and lf, but the problem with film is you can't view it immediately and when you're working with a client they want to see it now, especially when it comes to fashion and commercial shots.

In my world Id love to shoot all mf and then drum scan my negatives. I think you get a bigger and better quality image, but its time consuming and cost prohibitive, so I agree with the comments above that the best solution is that the digital manufacturers come up with cameras that are upgradable, i.e. sensonrs, etc. Let's face it that the bodies really haven't changed that much from pro film to pro digital.

Just my .02cents.
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Old 09-23-2005   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellette
The reason I'm guessing that may happen is that when people realize they essentially need to upgrade their digital camera on a regular basis since for one, they aren't intended to last forever like many of the old film cameras are.* Heck, even my 2000 rebel is doing just fine (well, as fine as it ever has with the kit lens) even though it sat in the really really hot car one day on accident and part of it cracked!* I've used the sucker in the rain, crack and all and no problems. Sara
Sara,
I'm guessing that you didn't fire off nearly as many frames with film as you do with digital.* Digital cameras are built as well as any of the old stuff.* The 20D is rated for 100,000 frames and the 1 series is rated for 200,000 before shutter replacement.* 100,000 frames is 4,167 rolls of 24exp film.* I estimate I have shot under a couple of hundred rolls in my lifetime.* I've shot 5000 digital images in the last couple of years.
Rich

develop 4200 rolls of film and the cost of the digital camera is not really that large in the whole scheme of things. Lenses, storage, etc will take some $ too.


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